Personal Color Makeup Filters for Photos and Video

How I ended up creating my own virtual makeup try-on filters

During quarantine, I found myself putting makeup on much less frequently.

I’m sure it’s the same story with most other women.

Which makes sense because I was meeting significantly less no people and wearing a mask even if I did.

I know that we say that makeup is for the enjoyment and confidence of the wearer but when the audience of the labor of applying and removing makeup is just myself and my husband… there’s just no way that I’m going to be putting makeup on more days than not.

So here comes the conundrum, I love taking selfies. I know many who turn to their mobile game or Facebook in times to short spurts of boredom, but I soothe my boredom with taking selfies. There’s just this personal joy of enjoying my face and documenting it for later viewing enjoyment.

I remember that we live in the 21st century and technology is unbelievable. As someone who is on Instagram pretty regularly, I turned to Instagram virtual makeup filters.

I spent all my waking and sleeping hours for a week straight researched diligently for the effect that I wanted.

As a Personal Color Analyst, I couldn’t just settle for a subpar effect. Several problems are as follows: 

  • Makeup Color: So many of the virtual makeup filters were apricot or rosy shade.
    • Very limited scope of color.
  • Makeup Style: The edges of lipstick and blush color were so blurred. Many visual makeup filters also applied blush straight horizontally across the cheeks and the nose.
    • No crisp line definition of my lips nor localized blush placement
  • Contouring: Most virtual makeup filters also came with contouring that dramatically changed the size and shape of my nose, lips, chin and eyes.
    • I wasn’t looking to get virtual plastic surgery or lip fillers.
  • Lighting Manipulation: The virtual makeup filter didn’t only add effects on the face. It also usually included LUTS the changing the lighting in the entire screen to be more faded.
    • I didn’t want my photos to be more sepia or have any other *~aesthetic~* lighting.

I realized that all I wanted was for me to look exactly like as if I have my personal color season’s makeup applied. Nothing extra.

(Well, I wanted fake lashes effect since the only reason that I don’t put them on in IRL is because of the labor of application/upkeep. And I added just enough skin blurring so that looks like excellent foundation application.)

At first I was angry and a little depressed that a very very specific thing that I wanted didn’t exist. Then, I realized that I could make one! How hard can it be? (Turns out, quite a bit hard, but good thing I didn’t know it at the time…)

At this point, I realized that if I was going to make a filter for me, I might as well make it for the whole Personal Color spectrum.

So, my project of creating personal color virtual makeup filters began. I learned Photoshop and Spark AR by reading, watching videos, asking friends. This process took around two months of working deep into the night and many many moments of regret at starting this huge project.

It challenged me in so many ways but now I understand the tools of digital creation much more and an even greater insight into personal color. In thinking about which lipstick and blush shades to select, I learned more about how big the range of colors are in each season.

Now that these filters have been public on Instagram and Facebook for several months now with 15K opens, I’m so glad to see them being used by even those who have never heard of Personal Color before. It also lets people not to be constrained by their wallet in trying out different makeup shades on their faces. So exploratory and freeing!

I hope that these filters get used for beautiful selfies, photos and videos. They are especially helpful when you want to snap a selfie after a hike or a workout! Sweat is no match for digital makeup!

Some Tips for Best Results: 

  • Have the right base: Make sure you have no makeup on or at least no color makeup on.
    • Dabbing some concealer on your red blemish is fine
  • Find the right lighting: a place with soft sunlight illuminating your face will make the effect appear as it was intended to appear.

    • Most photos look better with soft sunlight, ask any photographer or videographer!
    • If the lighting is harsh, you will be washed out but the effect will look too dark.
    • If you are backlit i.e. the light source is behind your face, your face will be dark but the effect will look too saturated.
    • Nighttime photos with indoor lighting will not give best results. Not quite sure why.

Instructions for using the Moon Over Star Personal Color virtual makeup try-on filters:

Option 1: Instagram and Facebook

  1. Have a Facebook or Instagram account. These filters work on
  2. Download Facebook or Instagram app to a smart phone ie. iPhone and sign in.
  3. Tap here on the smart phone. My portfolio of 4 Personal Color makeup filters can be seen.
  4. Tap on a filter you would like to try.
  5. Tap Open in App.
  6. You will receive a notification on your phone’s app that reads, The effect is ready to test. Tap on the notification.
  7. You will see the effect running on your smartphone by this point.
  8. Tap on the very bottom of the screen and a menu will appear. You have the choice of saving this effect to your phone for easy access next time.

Option 2: Instagram

  1. Open Instagram app on smartphone.
  2. Search: moonoverstar.
  3. Tap on the @moonoverstar profile.
  4. Scroll down to click on the middle option right above the photos. It is a smiley face with sparkles.
  5. 4 Personal color makeup filters can be seen.
  6. Tap on a filter you would like to try.
  7. Tap ‘Try It’ button on the left bottom corner.
  8. Tap on the very bottom of the screen and a menu will appear. You have the choice of saving this effect to your phone for easy access next time.

Hope all of this was helpful! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me at:


By Michelle Boni
Written on January 14, 2021

Preview of New Version of AR Beauty Filters

Preview  🔥🔥🔥
✨New Update to AR Beauty Filters Coming Soon💄

🌼🍉🍁❄️New version of my AR beauty filters that correlate with each Personal Color season 🌼🍉🍁❄️

Each aspect was carefully modified for more beautiful and realistic effect! 🙌

By Michelle Boni
Written on Feb 1, 2021

Pantone Color of the Year 2021

⭐️👽This year there are two Pantone colors. The addition of one more color honors the struggles that the pandemic and other events have brought on to most us. It signifies hope ⭐️ and endurance 🌑, and I know I need it now more than ever.

For others, it could mean grief and new beginnings. Grief of the loss of loved one, the loss of a job, postponed weddings, canceled prom, and the unraveling of the political climate. I’ve felt depressed, angry and exhausted on so many levels. 😓

But on the flip side, so many have discovered new hobbies. I cook and do yoga more than ever before and it’s given me time and space to enjoy and know myself. 👩🏻‍🍳 Now, cooking is actually my happy place that I look forward to. It nourishes my soul AND my tummy. 👍

The addition of one more color honors the struggles that the pandemic and other events have brought on to most us.

🎨Coming back to color, it’s interesting that they are both cool-toned. 😎

🌈 Illuminating, the yellow color, fits perfectly into the Dark Winter color palette. It’s a neutral cool color that is powerful but is not the brightest. It would make a nice shirtdress! 👗

🌈 Ultimate Gray is a very cool gray. I wondered if it fit better with True Summer or True Winter. I decided to go with True Summer because it just fit a little more seamlessly with the rest of the colors as a neutral. For me, gray will always mean a nice, warm cardigan. 😉

By Michelle Boni
Written on Jan 18, 2021

One Analyst, Two Faces

Unlike many of my other color analyst colleagues, my first exposure to Personal Color was through a Korean TV talk show that I watched when I was in high school. I am a Korean immigrant who spent most of her summer breaks in Korea, and it was during one of these summers that I stumbled upon Personal Color while flipping through the channels. It was an entertainment and beauty channel geared toward teen and young adult women that covered celebrity scandals, music video and lifestyle product reviews. It showed a professional makeup artist demonstrating the effects of wearing warm vs. cool foundation on models that were present and articulated that the effects can be summed up by Personal Color. She also said something along the lines of, “you can be warm-toned or cool-toned.”

You see, I had spent all my time thinking that all Asians were warm-toned because we were “yellow,” and that me looking terrible in warm-toned foundations was somehow my fault. I decided that I would widen my possibilities for foundations and was very happy with my high school decision.

I vaguely knew that Personal Color was a commercially thriving industry in Korea...

When Personal Color was reintroduced to me through a need to look great in my new professional life, I stuck to English sources in my online research as my proficiency level for Korean is much lower. I understand and speak enough conversational Korean that people assume that I am Korean but participating in reading and writing would expose my overseas upbringing.

Soon after my training with 12 Blueprints, I took a trip to South Korea and I became curious about what the Korean counterpart had in store. I went to instagram and searched #퍼스널컬러 (Korean for “Personal Color”). And the top posts were gorgeous! I clicked to see more and it was a Personal Color Consultant who was also a photographer. I wanted to be photographed by her and experience a Korean draping process. I vaguely knew that Personal Color was a commercially thriving industry in Korea and trusted that the Korean perfectionist culture of work would yield thorough technical draping for Personal Color. Oh, how wrong I was.

The draping experience was very disappointing. There was no controlled lighting or neutral color environment. The draping process was very short, around 20 minutes, with no systematic reason as to why certain drapes were used and others weren’t. I received no explanation as to why certain decisions were being made, despite questions. At the end of the session, she declared me a Soft Summer whose best colors were white, black, icy pink, burgundy, and dark navy blue (The color choices themselves were a definitive sign that I can’t be a Summer). I supposed that this mishap was alright since I had come primarily for the photographs anyway.

When I received the finished photos from her, I was heartbroken. I almost didn’t want anyone to see them.

The photoshoot itself was a fun experience. It was my first model-esque photoshoot which included getting my hair and makeup done by professionals. It was thrilling to have a professional photographer along with large cameras and lights focused on me. The problem came as I saw the Lightroom and Photoshop alterations. To see the original image of me warp into muted colors and much smaller chin and cheekbones was incredibly off-putting. I tried to convey my concerns, again and again. “I don’t like how my hair color is so altered that it’s brown, instead of black like in real life.” “Can you keep my chin and cheekbones as natural as possible?” “My skin here looks so washed out. Can you preserve my actual skin tone?” She did seem to make very minor adjustments based on what I said but it remained fake looking. Plus, I could tell that she was becoming more and more uncomfortable with my requests. I gave up and accepted the type of photos that I would be getting from her.

When I received the finished photos from her, I was heartbroken. I almost didn’t want anyone to see them. The pictures of “me” instilled insecurity and shame in my own face: the image was beautiful but unreal. Even my husband told me in a concerned voice, “It doesn’t really look like you.” It was a typical K-Beauty face whose proportions can only be  achieved through plastic surgery. I felt stuck. On one hand, these photos that were expensive, contained the labor of three professionals (photographer, makeup artist and hairstylist) and admittedly beautiful. On the other hand, I hated them, went against my values and weren’t accurate. But they were professional photos of me in a suit and resigned myself to using them for professional uses. I thought to myself, “If only I could get another photoshoot where I could do things right…”

A few months later, when I came back to the States, I was lucky to be photographed by a friend who is a professional photographer. She volunteered to be a color model for me and offered to do a simple photoshoot of me in her Los Angeles home. This time, I decided not to leave it to chance. I used my knowledge of my true personal color season: Bright Winter. I focused on the luminescence of my skin through my own Bright Winter makeup, clothing and accessories. I was much happier with the results despite the fact that these photos did not have the help of makeup artists or hair stylists. In these more recent photos, I looked like me: the authentic me that I can recognize everyday in my bathroom mirror. Second, I truly believe that I look more beautiful, vibrant and confident. My facial features and overall energy are focused and clear.  There is an added presence to my image by staying true to my personal color season of Bright Winter without photo manipulation. Now I only have pride when I look at the photos from this photoshoot and I’m happy that they could be used to represent both me and my brand authentically.

By Michelle Boni
Written on September 3, 2020

Color Theory 101

Thinking about incorporating colors or even trying to talk about colors can be scary! Thankfully, even just having a basic understanding of color structure can go a long way to build confidence.  

The current color theory that is most widely used, including by Pantone, is the Munsell Color System. It is a 3-D system beloved precisely because it is built on intuitive concepts of Hue, Value and Chroma and is relatively easy to reproduce exactly in a physical space. 


Hue refers to 2 things.

First, It is the our usual understanding color as the general color term such as red or orange. Many specific variations can and will be described as red, which means that those color variations fall in the red color family. The interactions between these color families can be used to reliably make certain color families resulting in primary, secondary and tertiary colors.

Second, it refers to the sliding scale of warm to cool with neutral in the middle. Warm color means that the color is yellow-based and conversely, cool color mean that it is blue-based. Complete neutral color are very uncommon. Most colors will either lean warm or cool to create warm-neutral or cool-neutral.

The second image shows cools colors on the top row and warm colors on the bottom row.


Value or lightness refers to if a color is light or dark. Easiest way to think of this is think, “Is this color close to white or black?” On a similar note, just simply add white to lighten a color or add black to darken a color.

If you find yourself having a hard time “seeing” value changes, simply turn the image Black&White. All the colors morph to give you value only.


Chroma or saturation refers to if a color is bright and vivid or dull and soft.

It can be easily confused with Value but pay attention! Chroma shouldn’t affect black-to-white scale! ⚠️

When you turn differing chroma colors to Black&White, it stays uniform gray.

It’s easiest to think of high chroma as a new, fresh rug and low chroma as a rug that has a lot of dust built up and sorely needs a good vacuuming. 😉

Personal Color Season

An understanding of these three dimensions of colors will help you immensely in understanding Personal Color Seasons as each season is defined precisely by these three building blocks. 

By Michelle Boni
Written on September 2, 2020